In upstate New York and more than 4,200 people have reportedly been told that they are to be made officially redundant as a result of the ongoing coronavirus-related shutdowns of the eastern state’s four large casino resorts.
According to a Monday report from the local Times Herald-Record newspaper, Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady, Tioga Downs Casino Resort, Del Lago Resort and Casino and Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort have been shuttered since March 15 as part of an effort to help stop the spread of a coronavirus pandemic that has so far killed over 32,000 New Yorkers.
The Times Herald-Record reported that this state-mandated move subsequently prompted the four venues to place almost all of their employees on temporary furloughs purportedly due to expire around the end of August. It had purportedly been hoped that this interim lockdown would not last more than a few weeks but ‘The Empire State’ has since kept the casinos closed after being unable to get its daily infection rate below 500.
With no official indication from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (pictured) as to when they may be permitted to re-open, the commercial casinos have now reportedly issued a large number of Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) letters, which is a federal requirement if an enterprise is simultaneously laying off more than 50 workers. These notices purportedly detail that Tioga Downs Casino Resort intends to offload about 900 employees with some 1,000 positions set to be chopped at Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady.
The situation is even worse at Del Lago Resort and Casino where approximately 1,100 positions are to be eliminated while Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort looks due to make roughly 1,256 people redundant. All of these lay-offs will purportedly follow the just over 950 staff that have lost their jobs due to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown at the still-shuttered Resorts World Casino New York City facility.
The newspaper reported that the Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort, which is owned by the Kien Huat Realty investments arm of Asian casino giant Genting Malaysia Berhad, indicated that it would be looking to re-hire as many of its redundant staff as possible once the threat of coronavirus had passed.
Reportedly read a statement from Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort…
“Unfortunately, several weeks after ceasing operations in March, we were forced to make the difficult decision to furlough some of our employees. As part of that process, we are now required by law to issue WARN letters to the furloughed staff. We will continue to keep you updated on our re-opening plans as they develop. Whenever we are told that we will be allowed to open, we will institute whatever protocols are necessary and work to get our terrific workforce back to their jobs.”
However, the man behind Tioga Downs Casino Resort, Jeff Gural, reportedly told the Times Union newspaper yesterday that Cuomo may actually be doing more harm than good as many of his enterprise’s customers are now actually travelling to enjoy gambling at local tribal casinos or commercial facilities located in neighboring states. Pennsylvania’s partially re-opened Mohegan Sun Pocono is situated only about a two-hour drive from the Tioga County venue while the similarly-proximate Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino and Point Place Casino from the Oneida Indian Nation reportedly began reviving operations from June 10 before being followed by the Seneca Nation of Indians’ Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino.
Gural reportedly proclaimed…
“It may seem counterintuitive but it is actually less safe to keep the upstate casinos closed. We know for a fact that our customers are not sitting home waiting for us to reopen. They are simply getting in their cars and driving to casinos in areas where the transmission rate is far higher.”